WASHINGTON, Dec. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Mines Advisory Group (MAG) spoke to CNN and NBC News, both networks visited Iraq in the past few weeks to provide their viewers with powerful insights into the devastation near Mosul, including videos showing the insides of booby-trapped houses.
This was, admittedly, a tour like no other for NBC correspondent Lucy Kafanov. "This makes me nervous," said Kafanov as she walked pass unexploded mines. http://www.maginternational.org/mag/en/media-centre/
MAG is currently clearing deadly landmines and bobby traps left behind by ISIS as villages surrounding Mosul are liberated. Many are meant to be triggered by families returning to their homes after having fled two years ago, from the conflict and ISIS control.
MAG is urging people to wait as long as possible to return to these communities to ensure their homes and land are cleared and safe to avoid deadly and life-changing incidents, however, many families cannot afford to wait any longer. Unfortunately, returning communities have experienced many fatalities and casualties in recent weeks, many involving children.
So far since its liberation from ISIS, 65 families have returned to the village. This number will continue to rise quickly, in all areas liberated from ISIS control. http://edition.cnn.com/2016/11/15/middleeast/mosul-isis-mines-boobytraps/index.html
In order to mitigate the risk to returnees from landmines, booby traps, and other explosive threats, MAG is not only clearing these items from villages and homes as quickly and thoroughly as possible, but providing Risk Education sessions to inform people on the dangers to which they are returning.
Children have proven especially vulnerable due to their precocious nature which leads them to explore items, and more ominously, are exploited by ISIS with booby traps of not only household items but also of children's toys. MAG's award winning photographer, Sean Sutton, has been documenting the injuries to adults and children as they are occurring on the ground. http://www.maginternational.org/mag/en/our-impact/news/iraq-emergency/?utm_source=eNEWS&utm_campaign=Iraq%20Emergency%20Appeal&utm_medium=Email&utm_source=Enewsletters&utm_campaign=83cdd45c4a-Christmas+Re+2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_78318f85c8-83cdd45c4a-204781705
Clearly, this is urgent work.
"About 11 deaths—people died—in this village. Five injured. And in the neighboring villages in the last three weeks, six people have died and four have been injured," Explained MAG Technical Field Manager Salaam Muhammed told CNN's Michael Holmes. "In the last 3-4 days, we found 30 mines in this area."
"I do this [work] for the people," Salaam says. "This is above all a humanitarian issue—if we don't do this and do [not do] it well, people will continue to die."
MAG's Sean Sutton, who has been documenting the crisis as it unfolds, agrees with colleague Salaam. "As you can see, this is the front line of humanitarian work. Until the mines are cleared, nothing can be done here—people can't go home, or certainly can't go home safely, and even other aid agencies can't safely come to help rebuild."
As the push to liberate Mosul and the surrounding areas continues, MAG teams will move into these areas to help save lives and create a safe environment so that people can begin to rebuild their communities.
Contact Person – Jamie Franklin – firstname.lastname@example.org 202-903-1904
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SOURCE MAG America